The colder season encourages us to escape reality via the magic of clever lighting, colorful costumes, and beautiful acting, offering a brief respite from the hostile climate waiting beyond the doors. During the summer, on the other hand, we tend to prefer spending time in verdant parks, on sunny roof terraces, in packed open air cinemas, or anywhere else that allows the sun to caress our skin or sends a fresh breeze our way. Fortunately, summer does not have to mean lean times for culture since many theater and dance festivals take the enchantment out of doors and stage their cerebral highlights against a background of stunning scenery.

A prime example of such open air magic would be the contemporary dance festival Danza Urbana. The first of its kind in Italy, Danza Urbana is dedicated to dance in urban landscapes – and provides one of the most spectacular ways to (re)discover the city of Bologna from some unusual perspectives.

Dedicated to “arcipelaghi” (archipelagos), the festival’s 17th edition explores the emergence of new creative locations inside this historic city. From September 4th to September 11th, several sites within Bologna will set the scene with moving performances and an opening conference (Arcipelagus Affect), the latter a reflection by Piersandra Di Matteo developed in collaboration with the architect and anthropologist Franco La Cecla and the dance historian Stefano Tomassini. While this theoretical exercise dissects the relationship between
the human body, its movements, and the geography of a city, the five subsequent dance performances grace unusual locations across Bologna with their dynamic intensity.

Images of previous editions reveal the sheer variety of dance and production styles on display. So, if you are a resident of Bologna – or happen to pass through in the next few days – please take the plunge and explore this multi-layered festival and its spotlight on the body, city, movement, and unbridled creativity as a whole.

Before we forget – most of the performances are free of charge!

Find out more about the festival and specific performances on the event’s website or join Danza Urbana’s Facebook page.

Header image: Andrea Nanni
Text: Claudio Rimmele